Classic kids’ TV show Fireman Sam has become embroiled in an Islamaphobia scandal after appearing to show a character stepping on a page of the Qur’an.
Channel 5 has been forced to remove an episode of the show from its site after a number of viewers complained that a pile of papers on the floor contained a page from the holy book, reports The Mirror.
A character accidentally slips on the papers and when the sheets fly into the air, at least one looks to contain Arabic script – now believed to be from the Qur’an.
Apparently, the page contains verses 13 to 26 of chapter 67 of the Qur’an – a passage that reportedly deals with various issues including punishments handed out to non-believers under the religion.
The programme’s producer HIT Entertainment has issued an apology and is cancelling its contract with the Chinese animation studio that created the scenes.
HIT said in a statement:
The page was intended to show illegible text and we deeply regret this error. We will no longer be working with the animation studio responsible for this mistake.
In addition, we are taking immediate action to remove this episode from circulation and we are reviewing our content production procedures to ensure this never happens again.
The programme was first aired in October 2014 and and has been available to watch on the My 5 on demand service since then, however no one seems to have noticed the embarrassing cock up until now.
Miqdaad Versi, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote on social media:
I have no idea what went through the producers’ minds when they thought this was a good idea.
— Miqdaad Versi (@miqdaad) July 26, 2016
To be fair, it doesn’t sound like it was a conscious decision by the producers – but they probably wish they’d picked up on it sooner…